What does the Internet care about? What articles do we share the most? Using the data from the Ahrefs Content Explorer, the people at Funders and Founders
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We have more data available to us than ever before and in an increasingly visual world, audiences look to images to make sense of things. We must refine how we present information visually in order to better inform audiences and ourselves.
There are many tools available to make data visualizations, but the tools and the visualizations alone are not enough. We need to enlighten users by guiding them through the complexity, using stories and design. In this exploding landscape of many visual data forms, multimedia and interactivity, we need to create content not only for our “super users,” but also actively help our larger audience understand them...
Cultivating the ability to experience the 'geeky rapture' of metaphorical thinking and pattern recognition.
The art of visual storytelling by way of good information graphics is the focus of Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist, New Yorker writer, and Scientific American neuroscience blog editor Gareth Cook who has set out to highlight the very best infographics produced each year, online and off. The Best American Infographics 2013 is now out, featuring the finest examples from the past year — spanning everything from happiness to sports to space to gender politics — with an introduction by none other than David Byrne. Accompanying each image is an artist statement that explores the data, the choice of visual representation, and why it works.
Thanks to the open data movement and Google Map Maker, anyone with a computer can create a map. These maps tell a story, but it's a subjective one. And while that can be a powerful tool, it can also skew perspectives and cloud a debate.
"We should really teach people to read maps in that way," says Laura Kurgan, an associate professor of architecture at Columbia University. "Maps are arguments, just like a piece of written journalism is an argument."
Visual thinking can be applied to anything. The way we think about things visually is a matter of perspective. And perspective is the source of all great storytelling.
With our new Visual Storytelling series, we use information design and data visualization to bring a new perspective to the stories of everyday life. Some pieces will be serious, some humorous, but the aim is to provide a new way of telling stories that we can all relate to...
Accurat is a design agency and consultancy based in Milan, Italy, transforming data into meaningful stories, and developing multimedia narratives and interactive applications.
Our studio doesn’t have a formal information visualization education background. The four associates have majors in completely different fields: Architecture, Sociology, Design and Economics.
This is a strange skill composition for a design studio, but indeed it’s what brings novelty in Accurat’s body of work.
When working on information visualization, this multifaceted background clearly emerges, leading to the design of unorthodox visual metaphors, where our focus is on the data analysis, theories and storytelling side.
In practice, this translates into a very straightforward process in the design of the visualizations: instead of starting with a selection of the most proper metaphor among widely used models of graphs, charts and tables, the visual starts with the story we want to tell, without any constriction from a chosen format. This way, it’s way easier to break rules, merge ideas together and come up with naive but powerful and new visual schemes...
Read the complete article for a detailed and comprehensive look at this unique approach to vizualization, storytelling and the process it takes to achieve successful and creative results, as explained with project examples and case studies.
Designing an infographic or a data visualization is an act of engineering. Does this idea sound strange to you? Sometimes it does when I present it in lectures and classes. Many people tend to think that I am indulging in some sort of vague game of metaphors, but I am not. I say it quite literally. I believe that an infographic is a tool in a very similar way that hammers, saws, and screwdrivers are tools: They are instruments we devise and build to extend our capacities beyond their natural limits, to accomplish feats that would be extremely difficult — or even impossible — if tried without their aid. We humans are natural-born cyborgs. We are used to getting raw materials from the environment (whether that’s iron and wood, or information and data) and giving them shapes that are adapted to certain goals or tasks.
Think about it this way: Tools are not always actual objects designed to help us with physical activities. A notebook, whether it is a Moleskine or an Evernote digital document, is a tool that expands our memory. A digital calculator, whether it is an inexpensive machine bought in the nearest Dollar Tree or an app downloaded to your iPhone, frees you from the burden of having to retain and execute many complex mathematical algorithms. Non-physical tools (or sets of tools and practices), such as statistics and the scientific method, evolved to let us gaze beyond what we would normally see, and to overcome our deepest biases and lazy habits of mind. The same is true for great visual displays of information...
Everyday our lives and businesses generate vast amounts of data and the rise of cloud computing and the internet has enabled us to store and retrieve this information easily. The challenge has always been to enable people to use data and to communicate simply. There are a few visionaries that have mastered the art of data visualisation like Edward Tufte and Stephen Few. The future depends on the blend of this fusion of information and storytelling.
[Photo credit: IvanWalsh.com]
Via Gregg Morris
As the CEO of an international organization, I know how important it is to tell a good story. Most donors want to know how we have helped people in the developing world, and there is no better way to demonstrate our impact than with stories from people that have been positively affected by the work done by NetHope and our 35 member organizations.
But it is not enough to write a blog entry or tweet on our success. To compete among the sea of content available online, there's a demand to rethink our storytelling and to make things more visual and interactive in order to draw attention from donors and resonate with consumers.
n a recent Huffington Post blog entry, Content Marketing Specialist Michael Parrish DuDell said, "today it's about the story, the narrative, the "why" behind "what." The future of business isn't just about innovating products and services; it's about innovating the storytelling process behind those products and services and doing it in the most compelling and authentic way possible."
Via Gregg Morris
HistoryShots creates elegant graphics and diagrammatic art that visually tell stories about subjects, time periods and events.
Liz Burow teaches information design and collaborative design studios at Parsons School of Design in New York, NY.
Short animations are one of the best tools out there for explaining ideas, but they aren’t used often enough for fear they’re too advanced. Yet, creating animations can really help designers understand the power of storytelling, beyond what can be accomplished with creating static visualizations. By adding time to the design ‘canvas’, one can start to understand how they are the director of an explanation, not just a designer of information. And while perfecting the skills of a storyteller and motion-graphic artist takes years, basic storytelling, argument building and dynamic visualization techniques can be learned fairly quickly and effectively...
Here are five key principles in using animations successfully.
We now live in a world where information is potentially unlimited. Information is cheap, but meaning is expensive.
Over the past several years, our quest to extract meaning from information has taken us more and more towards the realm of visual storytelling — we’ve used data visualization to reveal hidden patterns about the world, employed animation in engaging kids with important issues, and let infographics distill human emotion. In fact, our very brains are wired for the visual over the textual by way of the pictorial superiority effect.
Getty is promoting their media with this infographic of how to create transmedia in five steps.
The five step approach, as they summarize in their interactive site, consists of:
Getty then offers the elements of images, sound, video and editorial (for those interested in creating stories that intersect or are built from real life) at the bottom of the landing page.
Take a look at their infographic and see if it inspires you to think like a transmedia storyteller.
Crafting an infographic narrative is an art. We detail the five elements of an editorial infographic's narrative and what each element aims to accomplish.
The best infographics are created when a story comes first. In a completed piece, every data point, piece of copy, and design element should support that story. This does not mean, however, that the story an individual or organization wants to tell will intuitively translate to the infographic medium.
Even in instances where all information and data exists on paper, the story may still require adaptation—crafting an infographic narrative to effectively communicate the story. While specific needs vary across applications of infographics, for editorial pieces, this process typically involves writing titles, introductory paragraphs, callouts, and conclusions—the pieces that weave the story together.
As the old saying goes about pictures being "worth a thousand words," so goes the story about infographics.
Infographics are a compelling way to represent complex information quickly and clearly. In an infographic, visual symbols and numbers are used with colors, fonts, and labels to make the data more useful. With the flood of information and exponential data points, it is imperative to focus people's attention on not just the valuable data, but the implications as well.
Storytelling is using a linear narrative to guide people- as the creative and performance marketing communities work together to make sense of data, we must not squander the opportunity that this format provides. We need to create meaningful infographics that minimize information anxiety by conveying the perspective in the most effective manner. Agencies are tasked with providing creative expressions that connect target audiences with meaningful content -- and infographics are by no means any different.
Visit the complete article to learn more about the fundamental factors that contribute to successful infographics:..
This informational video by Story Worldwide has been featured on Brand Stories for a while now.
One of the tools used when creating branded storytelling is their storytelling matrix — a framework that allows organizations to fully understand and orchestrate their brand narrative.
Its three axes (Activity, Complexity, and Personality) are used to plot in the executions necessary to maximize meaningful interaction with a given group.
The two and a half minute video explains the model and uses a series of Story-produced designs to explain each axis...
On September 27th, the world's best examples of visually stunning information was recognized at the inaugural Information is Beautiful awards.
The event, held at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, awarded designers from all over the world in a variety of categories, including data visualisation, infographics and data journalism.
When David McCandless, author, data journalist and founder of the IIB data-visualisation studio, announced in early 2012 that IIB was looking for award applicants, he was inundated with over 1,000 entries.
"I've just been amazed by the sheer quality of the creative work submitted to the awards from around the world," McCandless told Wired.co.uk. "There are a number of criteria we look for when judging these awards. Not only do they have to have the right visual quality and be easily understood, they have to have that invisible element of story telling as well."
Read the complete article for a closer look at all the winners, selected by a panel of judges including musician and visual artist Brian Eno, senior curator of the Museum of Modern Art Paola Antonelli, BrainPickings.org editor Maria Popova and Guardian Datablog editor Simon Rogers.
As people begin to experiment with the creation and interpretation of visualizations and including them in presentations, a not-so-apparent shift will take place in the background where the traditional ‘analyst’ role slowly morphs to give way to a new breed — the storytellers — who will be more strategic and consultative in nature and not data-waiters, statisticians or always comfortable with extreme analytics.
Visualization, as we know it, is starting to spread through individual contributors and niche companies forging the path. A lot of these individuals are learning as they go and using available tools and technologies, but invariably data access and computing capabilities to specific information are limitations that still require heavy investments.
As people begin to experiment with the creation and interpretation of visualizations and including them in presentations, a not-so-apparent shift will take place in the background where the traditional ‘analyst‘ role slowly morphs to give way to a new breed — the storytellers — who will be more strategic and consultative in nature and not data-waiters, statisticians or always comfortable with extreme analytics, but can create, interact, discover and explain relationships in the information and become the go-to people leadership looks for to understand and make quick decisions for their business through data...
At a recent conference on transmedia, or multiplatform storytelling, Starlight Runner Entertainment CEO Jeff Gomez said that stories help us commune with things greater than ourselves.
In a world where attention and big ideas are prized, knowing a few things about storytelling can make you more successful in your endeavors.
Below are five steps you can take to help better tell your story.
1. Decide why you want to tell this story
2. Make it matter
3. Know your audience
4. Cannibalize your work
5. Finish it
More on these points at the article link...
As technology changes the way we read, we readers are in a continual state of beta and debate. But all of the debate about these developments concerns reading words, which we’ve been doing for a long time. A bigger change in reading is emerging as we become better able to meaningfully understand and visualize the data pulsing through our ever connected world. Humans are starting to be able to easily read fast-streaming data & we’re getting better at it.
Those numbers can tell compelling stories. Luckily, sophisticated data visualization techniques and software innovations enable the storytelling, offering actionable new insights about the world around us. And it’s just beginning, because now the world’s machines—jet engines, gas turbines, medical devices in hospitals, refrigerators, cars—are coming online on a huge scale, joining the billions of humans already connected...
Via Gregg Morris
Dataveyes is a start-up focused on interactive data visualization.
Data visualization turns large volumes of raw data into a meaningful piece. It creates a visual, esthetic and kinetic interaction, which directly reaches out to the user's intelligence.
At Dataveyes, we want to create a new visual grammar, a new way of telling stories with datas. We think this appears as necessary, for complex information is better memorized by the human brain through a visual form than words could ever be...
'How Big Really' is a solid, easy to digest punch of information that translates unknown quantities into something instantly recognisable. 'How Many Really' is the second part of the experiment, and this is a little write up of the design process.
How many really is an entirely different beast to How big really. Rather than each dimension being a solid, one shot hit, the value is in backing up simple visuals with interesting narratives. We spent almost as much time on the written aspect of stories as we did on the aesthetics and interaction. I hope it gives a little context to numbers and figures we often take for granted. Please do have a browse around!